FOSTORIA - Clarence “Jakie” Jacob, a World War II Navy veteran who was the city auditor for 23 years, died early Saturday in East Lansing. He was 85.
Mr. Jacob's son, Charles, said his father's health had been failing for the last year. His most recent illness was pneumonia.
Mr. Jacob, a lifelong Fostoria resident who was first elected to the auditor post in 1963, retired from the position in 1986. During his 23-year run, he prided himself on being open to all members of the community and tried to work based on an open-door policy, his daughter, Mary Boss, said.
“He would not close the door. Any time anybody walked through the door, he would help them,” she said.
Mrs. Boss said her father decided to run for city auditor after owning a former book and gift shop here because he was ready to “take his life in a different direction.”
He had purchased the book store in the early 1950s and operated it for almost 20 years before closing it, his son said.
Raised mostly by his grandparents after his mother, Esther, died from an injury when he was 4, Mr. Jacob began working at the Mennell Mill Co. after he graduated from Fostoria High School in 1935. He saved his wages for five years before earning enough to marry his high school girlfriend, Jean Conklin, in 1940.
After World War II started, Mr. Jacob joined the U.S. Navy. He served as a 3rd class seaman, doing electrical work off the California coast. Upon returning to Ohio, he enrolled at Ohio State University for three years.
In the 1960s, Mr. Jacob became involved with the Republican Party and local government. Besides serving as city auditor, he was involved in the Fostoria Republican Club and active with the city planning commission, as well as the Fostoria Bureau of Concern, which handles the city's food bank.
His son said he was always willing to help anybody who came to him, for whatever reason.
“If somebody needed help, he would find a way to help them. When the Boy Scouts needed a volunteer to be a Boy Scout leader, they asked him, and he did it,” he said. “During his term as the city's auditor, in many [elections], he went unopposed. He was really loved by the community.”
In his spare time and retirement, Mr. Jacob, who learned the skills of woodworking from his father, Earl, and passed them on to his own children, enjoyed making dollhouses for his granddaughters, traveling with his wife, and collecting coins.
“He always had to keep his hands busy. He loved - if you brought him some junky things -turning it into something beautiful,” Mrs. Boss said.
Surviving are his wife, Jean; son, Charles; daughters, Mary Boss and Beth Ferrari; sisters, Leola Omlar and Marguerite Burgess, and eight grandchildren.
The body will be in the Harrold Floriana Funeral Home after 2 p.m. tomorrow. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Wendelin Catholic Church here.
The family requests tributes to Kaubisch Memorial Library here or the Fostoria Red Cross chapter.
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